Tuesday, April 30, 2013

After Two Years

After two years of PRK surgery, I have no regrets and still have fantastic vision!  The only difference I feel after getting the surgery is my eyes are a bit more sensitive to eye makeup and chopping onions-heehee!  Would do it again in a heart beat!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Almost One Year Later

Had my doctor's visit today (next one will be a year from now) and my vision is 20/15.  I am so happy that I took the plunge in getting the PRK surgery.  The only couple of side effects are still a bit of dry eye-especially when waking up in the morning.  Also, at the end of the day my eye makeup seems to creep into my eye and Boy! it can really sting my eye.  I asked my doctor about this and he says there is no need to worry and that it's normal to have this sensitivity.  The sting lasts a few seconds and gets better when I shut my eyes a bit or add drops-nothing to inconvenient just an observation.  Other than that "La Vie en Rose!"

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I CAN SEE!

Its been about 9 weeks since the day of my surgery and I noticed yesterday, although it could've been earlier, that I can see clearly now!  In fact, it looks like I do have better vision than 20/20.  My doctor's appointment isn't for another month to know for sure but I am lovin' this.  I am so happy that I did this procedure!  I still do experience some drying in the eyes so I am still using drops at least three times a day.  But I am a very happy camper!

Monday, September 19, 2011

6 Weeks Out

I went to see my eye doctor a few days ago and my vision was 20/25, not too bad.  There was a mark improvement in my vision starting with week 4 and "sneakingly" getting clearer and clearer.  With PRK, you do not get that Wow, instant gratification factor but instead little by little your vision gets better. 

My vision is till not as good as when I wore contacts, though, and I guess that will come in time.  Reading from a book and from a computer monitor is much much better; driving is also much improved. 

So far, the worst side effect is office lights and driving at night.  Since I work in an office, the lights above seem to strain my eyes more, I feel like around 3pm my eyes are tired and "done for the day."  Done in that, tired of reading or concentrating on print.  Driving at night is doable if going somewhere familiar but the lights look like water color blotches.

All in all, I don't regret having this surgery.  I do hope that my clear vision last several years.  My vision before was -7, scary - because if I lost my glasses or one of my contacts popped out, I was pretty much blind.  So I wanted to surgery to give me better improved vision and this it did!

My visit with my eye doctor is in a month and I hope to have 20/20 or better.  Stay Tuned.

Monday, August 29, 2011

18 Days Out

So the last time I saw my doctor 10 days ago, he was pleasantly surprised at how well my eyes were healing and vision improving and hoped that I would be one of those superstar patients that healed in 2 or 3 weeks.  Well not so fast.  I went to see my doctor this afternoon and my vision digressed.  I have no pain and I really don't feel like my eyes are unbelievably dry.  But I have been disappointed about my vision being so blurry.  My vision has not gotten better in time, in fact, I do feel like it digressed a little bit.  Therefore, my doctor said that my experience is normal but would like to see a faster healing time.
So instead of taking one drop of perscription Prednisolone 4x a day and refreshing drops as needed, I now have to take the perscription drop every two hours, refreshing drops every hour and he also inplanted eye plugs to help create more tears.  Boy!  I should start watching more sappy chick flicks so I can cry more.  Even though I ddin't think my eyes were that dry, my doctor said that they were. 

So I will stick to this regimen until I see my doctor again in two weeks.  I want faster healing time myself so I hope this new regimen will help accomplish this.  I will post again in two weeks unless I have something remarkable to write in the meantime.

P.S. Again, driving to unfamiliar places where reading signs is needed would be prove to be a challenge for those undergoing PRK in my opinion.  Just a heads up.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First two weeks

When I went to my consultation and the doctor highly recommended that I get the PRK procedure and not Lasik due to the shape of my corneas, I was not prepared for that response.  Earlier I did much research on the Lasik procedure, for example: expectations, cost, recovery, etc. but not on PRK.  That night after the consultation and for the next few days I did internet research on PRK and did not find as much information, especially post op experiences.  So after going with my doctor’s recommendation, I decided that I would tape record myself (since I wasn’t sure in what state my eyes would be in for typing) and blog my experience day by day with PRK.  I’m going to use this platform not so much to explain PRK (there are other websites for that) but my experience and how the longer recovery time (4 to 6 weeks rather than 1 day for Lasik) impacts my life.
Before Surgery:

I learned that I should have 3 days of bed rest after the surgery.  Even though this sounded great to me, after all I could use some “R & R,” I wasn’t sure if I could pull that off without climbing the walls.  So I decided to download some music and audiobooks to my IPOD (Highly recommended) that way if I just can’t sleep at least I can lie in bed with my eyes closed and be somewhat entertained.  My surgery takes place on a Wednesday late afternoon and I took Thursday and Friday off from work and then I would have the weekend too, if needed to recover.  I don’t have any kids so I didn’t have to worry about their needs or schedule.  My husband worked during the week so I had it all prepared to have some quiet time after my surgery for the rest of the week.  Looking back, yet not to jump ahead, I will say that anyone who decides to go through the PRK surgery ought to make plans to keep the crucial 3 day recovery period as stress free and errand free as possible.  You will not be able to drive.  Do what it takes to get your needed rest, you’ll find you can’t do much anyway and when you try it can be frustrating. 

Day before surgery:

Four times a day, I took one drop of two medications each into my eyes.  I also was prescribed to take one day before surgery, Gabapentin three times a day to calm nerves……..hmmm, okay sure.

Day of surgery (8/10/2011):

Took my usual medications and then just before surgery I was given a Xanax to help me sleep later.  I had my surgery at about 5:30pm.  There’s much information on the surgery itself, in fact it’s much like Lasik so I won’t spend too much time on that.  I will just say that it wasn’t too bad just one of the weirdest experiences I’ve been through.  I was glad that each eye only took about 2 minutes.  Right after surgery I can tell that the Xanax was already working because I felt a little loopy and then they gave me another one to take right after surgery …and…another to take with me for the road, if and when I needed it.  I was also prescribed Percocet for pain. 

So once I was out of the operation chair, I did feel pain.  Not bad pain but high discomfort.  My eyes felt a stinging sensation and well….sore.  I never felt my eyes being sore before but that is a good way to describe it.  I didn’t bring the Percocet with me but left it at home so my first thought was that I can’t wait to take it when I get home.  My husband drove me home (you must have a driver) and I ate something so that I can take the Percocet without having an upset stomach and then I went straight to bed about 7pm.  My husband told me later, that on the way home from surgery (20 minute ride) that I was completely knocked out (I didn’t recall). Good night.

Day 1 after surgery:

I woke up about 7am and the first thing I remember is going to bed at 7pm.  I couldn’t believe I slept through everything.  I see that I had a message on my cell phone and it was my doctor who called last night to see how I was doing.  I guess you can say, I was doing just fine J I was also ecstatic because my vision wasn’t perfect due to recovery but it was excellent I was so excited that I emailed my doctor about it right away.  He was happy that I sounded good but cautioned me that I will have highs and lows during the 4 to6 week recovery process so not to get too excited just yet (in so many words). 

My eyes are in no real pain, but again, I have been taking the two prescription medications.  I do feel the need to close my eyes because they feel a bit tired and sore and sometimes I feel like there is a grain of sand in my eyes.  I can't watch TV yet so I'm glad that I downloaded stuff on my IPOD so that I can still keep my eyes closed and relax.  I also went ahead and popped in one of my favorite movies that I've seen a bunch of times so that when I listen to it, I can actually picture what was going on-it worked for me.  So I'm going to follow my doctor's orders and try to get as much rest as possible.  

For just a moment I thought to myself for over 20 years I have been wearing contacts and glasses and I'm not wearing anything and I can see!

Day 2 after surgery:

When I woke up in the morning my eyes were stinging pretty bad and it was hard to keep my eyes open for any length of time.  My eyes felt more pain today than yesterday.  I thought I would not take Percocet today to see how I feel but already know I'm going to take it as soon as I get food in my stomach.  The Percocet works so I suggest using it.  My eyes as well as my face was swollen and puffy.  So as recommended, I put a bag of frozen veggies on my eyes and face for about 20 minutes a few times through the day.  This helped reduce the swelling and also gave slight pain relief.  Interestingly, while rearranging the frozen veggies on my face, a part of the bag accidentally hit my eye..OUCH! my eyes were definitely tender from the surgery.  You wouldn't know it though unless you stupidly hit your eyeball like I did.

Day 3 after surgery:

My doctor warned me and said that the 3rd day will probably be my worse day vision wise.......and he was right.  My vision is very blurry as if nothing happened.  Amazingly though, I woke up with no pain.  I did notice that even though I experience no pain, my eyes still felt tired and heavy and still had light sensitivity.  It was tiring to keep my eyes open for longer than a minute and so TV watching, reading, going on computer was nearly impossible.  Later in the afternoon, I did go ahead and take my first Percocet for that day because I felt a bit of stinging and I think by the third day I was bored and so a sleep aid would be helpful.  So again, trying to get as much rest as possible today.  Yes, the 3rd day was worse than the 1st and 2nd day after surgery.

Day 4 after surgery:

When I woke up this morning, I felt NO PAIN at all.  Even when I put my drops in, there wasn't a stinging sensation that I typically get.  All day, I experienced no pain and yesterday was the last day I had to use the Percocet.  My vision is still blurry but a bit better than yesterday.  By the way, before surgery my vision was -7 so right now I'm guessing that I'm seeing 20/40 or 20/30-functional but not perfect.

Today was the first day I step foot outside.  My husband and I decided that we would walk around the beach which sounded great since my eyes felt great and I have been cooped up indoors.  Interestingly, when my husband pulled out of our garage, even though I wore sunglasses, it seemed like they weren't dark enough.  I had to close my eyes and felt a bit worried that I wouldn't be able to enjoy my walk.  I kept them closed for about 5 minutes and they felt better, they must have adjusted to the light.  The beach was overcast which was perfect because it wasn't too sunny so my eyes felt fine for the walk, no problems.  Then we got some lunch out and again no problems.  I felt tired in the afternoon most likely due to doing quite a bit after leading a sedentary life for about 3 days so rested for the last part of the day.

Day 5 (Monday) after surgery - First day back to work:

I am waking up with dry eyes, so I have my drops on my nightstand to use right when I wake up in the morning so I can get my eyes open.  Again, no eye pain, still blurry but better than yesterday.  Each day seems to get a little clearer.  This afternoon I go back to see my doctor for a follow up visit and he plans to take the contacts (clear contact that acts like a bandage) out of my eyes.  By now, I'm ready to get them out for same reasons I didn't want to wear contacts in the first place so I'm looking forward to the visit.

I am a controller so I use the computer all day and perform a variety of accounting tasks.  I thought my vision was pretty good until I had to read.  Trying to read anything, be it on paper or on a monitor proved to be very frustrating.  Also, it's a good thing that my job is less than 5 miles from my house because I'm not use to driving with less than 20/20 vision.  I can see but reading signs is blurry.  I would think that driving a distance or somewhere unfamiliar would be a challenge.

I went to the doctor and he took the contacts out and recommended that I purchase a nighttime ointment that would help moisturize my eyes while sleeping.  Some have complained about their eyelids sticking to their eyeballs and trying to open their eyes was painful so this ointment would relieve and/or reduce this from happening.  I got some that evening.

My doctor reminded me that the reason my vision is blurry is because a "scab" has formed on my eyes and that is what I am looking through.  It takes 4 to 6 weeks for this scab to go away, therefore, my vision will go in and out during this time.  My next doctor's visit is two week from now.


Two weeks after my surgery (8/24/2011):

So my regimen has been taking one prescription eye drop in each eye 4x a day; refreshing eyes drops as needed and the nighttime ointment once at night.  My eyes are feeling no pain.  Any dryness seems to be diminishing with each day.  In fact, today was the first day my eyes' vision improved a bit.  I also feel that my eyes are not really that dry.  I do use refresh drops just twice during my work day.  I do recommend using the nighttime ointment because your eyelids do stick to your eye so this prevents this plus it moisturizes your eyes.

In short, the past week work was frustrating and I seemed more tired than usual.  I was getting a bit discouraged and worried that I would be in the 5% category of those where the surgery wouldn't work.  My vision was still blurry and worse than when I wore my glasses.  Bu today, I saw improvement and the reality is that I see much better than my -7 vision before.  I also searched more on google, etc. for any post op experiences and managed to find some.  It was encouraging because others felt the same as I did and got their vision back in two months.  This all gave me hope.  My next doctor's appointment will be this Monday and will post an update then.